Cover image for I have a dream : writings and speeches that changed the world
Title:
I have a dream : writings and speeches that changed the world
ISBN:
9780062505521
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
[San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, c1992.
Physical Description:
xxx, 210 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 21 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Contents:
Our struggle (1956) -- Facing the challenge of the new age (1957) -- The power of nonviolence (1958) -- Speech before the youth march for integrated schools (1959) -- My trip to the land of Gandhi (1959) -- The social organization of nonviolence (1960) -- Pilgrimage to nonviolence (1960) -- The rising tide of racial consciousness (1960) -- The time for freedom has come (1961) -- Letter from a Birmingham jail (1963) -- I have a dream (1963) -- Nobel prize acceptance speech (1964) -- Eulogy for the martyred children (1963) -- Our God is marching on! (1965) -- Nonviolence: the only road to freedom (1966) -- A time to break the silence (1967) -- Black power defined (1967) -- Where do we go from here? (1967) -- The drum major instinct (1968) -- I see the promised land (1968).
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Summary

Summary

"His life informed us, his dreams sustain us yet."*

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial looking out over thousands of troubled Americans who had gathered in the name of civil rights and uttered his now famous words, "I have a dream . . ." It was a speech that changed the course of history.

This fortieth-anniversary edition honors Martin Luther King Jr.'s courageous dream and his immeasurable contribution by presenting his most memorable words in a concise and convenient edition. As Coretta Scott King says in her foreword, "This collection includes many of what I consider to be my husband's most important writings and orations." In addition to the famed keynote address of the 1963 march on Washington, the renowned civil rights leader's most influential words included here are the "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," the essay "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence," and his last sermon, "I See the Promised Land," preached the day before he was assassinated.

Editor James M. Washington arranged the selections chronologically, providing headnotes for each selection that give a running history of the civil rights movement and related events. In his introduction, Washington assesses King's times and significance.

*From the citation of the posthumous award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., July 4, 1977


Author Notes

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 into a middle-class black family in Atlanta, Georgia. He received a degree from Morehouse College. While there his early concerns for social justice for African Americans were deepened by reading Henry David Thoreau's essay "Civil Disobedience." He enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary and there became acquainted with the Social Gospel movement and the works of its chief spokesman, Walter Rauschenbusch. Mohandas Gandhi's practice of nonviolent resistance (ahimsaahimsa) later became a tactic for transforming love into social change.

After seminary, he postponed his ministry vocation by first earning a doctorate at Boston University School of Theology. There he discovered the works of Reinhold Niebuhr and was especially struck by Niebuhr's insistence that the powerless must somehow gain power if they are to achieve what is theirs by right. In the Montgomery bus boycott, it was by economic clout that African Americans broke down the walls separating the races, for without African American riders, the city's transportation system nearly collapsed.

The bus boycott took place in 1954, the year King and his bride, Coretta Scott, went to Montgomery, where he had been called to serve as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Following the boycott, he founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to coordinate civil rights organizations. Working through African American churches, activists led demonstrations all over the South and drew attention, through television and newspaper reports, to the fact that nonviolent demonstrations by blacks were being suppressed violently by white police and state troopers. The federal government was finally forced to intervene and pass legislation protecting the right of African Americans to vote and desegregating public accommodations. For his nonviolent activism, King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

While organizing a "poor people's campaign" to persuade Congress to take action against poverty, King accepted an invitation to visit Memphis, Tennessee, where sanitation workers were on strike. There, on April 4, 1968, he was gunned down while standing on the balcony of his hotel.

(Bowker Author Biography)